In the work world, there are a variety of project execution methodologies and tools introduced to suit unique customer requirements. Each new methodology introduces new potential merits that aim to ease the development lifecycle, and because of consistent changes in business equations, methodologies naturally evolve to match the requirements of industry initiatives. In today’s business environment, changes in priorities are fast and dynamic, making visibility and velocity keys to launching a product or service successfully. Because the Agile Methodology favors quick deliveries, greater visibility, and flexibility it’s become a very popular methodology for the IT world in the last decade.
In the Agile world, Agile and Scrum are the most common words we hear, and for a while, a portion of the IT community has been confused about their interrelation. It’s hard to believe that people still have confusion surrounding these buzzwords, but they do (even after 18 years of Agile being a mainstream movement). In this article, I will describe these words and explain the differences.
Agile vs. Scrum
Agile methodology is a practice that enables an incremental & iterative development approach with a simplistic design down to the module level with small achievable milestones. The work is prioritized based on business or customer value. Due to its iterative and incremental nature, consistent end-user feedback, improvements are enforced to subsequent milestones.
As a methodology, Agile outlines the values and guiding principles for iterative development, but it doesn’t explain the process of how to achieve them during Agile implementation. Hence, we need a process framework to implement the Agile Methodology for any project.
Scrum comes in as a popular process framework for implementing the Agile methodology over Extreme programming (XP), Feature-Driven Development (FDD), Adaptive System Development (ASD), Lean Software Development (LSD), and Crystal Clear. It outlines the overt process of implementing SDLC based on Agile guidelines & values. Using an iterative approach, Scrum helps manage software development. There are fixed-length iterations known as a sprint that allows for shipping software frequently. The roles, responsibilities, and meetings are fixed in a Scrum, followed by demos, retrospectives of consistent adoption to changes and improvements.
Agile vs. Scrum (By Example):
The difference between Scrum and Agile is much like the difference between a recipe and a diet. A diet is composed of methods and practices based on principles and values whereas recipe is a framework you can use to implement the designated diet. If the recipe isn’t based on diet principles and values, the diet is diluted and the customer won’t obtain the targeted results.
Agile is a set of road rules, infrastructure, and the road itself connects multiple locations, including traffic signs, traffic lights, etc. On the other hand, Scrum acts as the vehicle delivering things or taking people to different places. Every vehicle abides by the rules of the road as principles and guiding factors. Running red lights and changing lanes without blinkers is like breaking Agile principles when implementing Scrum during a project. Projects run amuck, initiatives are left unfulfilled, and your customers suffer.
By following Scrum guidelines and adhering to the Agile methodology, your team can deliver the business value your customers want.
In summary, Agile is a methodology focused on customer satisfaction using incremental value-based deliveries for company-wide adoption of consistent evolution. In contrast, Scrum is a common process framework of interactions, operations, and roles required for achieving Agile goals. So, consider Scrum as a subset of Agile. In other words, Scrum is the process framework for implementing the Agile methodology. To unlock the benefits of one or the other, the two must always go together.